Thursday , April 15 2021

Football: Crown Prince Johor signals interest in buying Valencia’s Peter Lim

JOHOR BAHRU: There are signs that Crown Prince Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim may be interested in buying out Spanish club La Liga Valencia, which is now owned by Singaporean businessman Peter Lim.

On Tuesday (March 2), Tunku Ismail posted a series of stories on Instagram, including screenshots of Valencia’s history and its estimated value of 408 million euros (493 million US dollars).

He then issued a brief statement in which the 36-year-old stressed that he was not a businessman but a prince.

He added that money does not motivate him, but “fame and the creation of history.”

“I’m not new to football,” the follower wrote.

“Every year I created a club that struggles to reach the dominant champion. In eight years I have won 16 titles. We are the largest in Southeast Asia and one of the largest in Asia,” he said.

He added: “I want to expand my empire, spread my wings and take on new challenges. I am not the one who will change the logo of your club or tradition … I am here for fame, success and history.”

“What does Valencia need? You need someone who knows about football, is hungry for success, enthusiastic and understands how great Valencia is as a club.”

“The first step. We need players at the club. The point,” he added.

He is currently the owner of the Malaysian Super League Johor Darul Tazim (JDT). In October 2020, JDT won its seventh consecutive league title.

READ: Valencia had strict precautions, but it is still not surprising that the players passed the positive test for COVID-19, says club president Anil Murti

Singaporean businessman Peter Lim (K), owner of the Spanish national football team La Liga Valencia and his wife

Singaporean businessman Peter Lim (K), owner of the Spanish national football team La Liga Valencia and his wife Cherie Lee (R) talk to Valencian President Anil Murti AFP / THOMAS SAMSON

Billionaire Mr Lim, who was recently criticized by Valencia supporters, did not say whether he was interested in selling the club.

Since Mr Lim took office in 2014, Valencia have qualified three times for the Champions League and reached the semi-finals of the Europa League in 2019.

During this period, Mr. Lim appointed seven different coaches.

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Mr Lim was selling the club after Valencia sold key players Dani Parejo and Rodrigo last summer. Observers said there was no adequate replacement.

Current head coach Xavi Gracia is under fire, having won just two league games since early 2021.

Valencia currently ranks 14th in the league with 20 teams, five points away from the relegation zone, 13 matches.

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